Denied ticket, former bureaucrat Arun Bhatia slams AAP leadership

Though not an AAP member, Bhatia was trying hard to get the party's nomination.

Published: February 16, 2014 10:21:06 pm

Socialist leader Subhash Ware will be the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) candidate from Pune Lok Sabha constituency where he faces a stiff challenge from the Congress and the BJP who have been traditional rivals from the seat. AAP is the only party which has declared the name of its candidate much before the election process gets underway unlike the Congress and the BJP which are grappling with several “key names.”

AAP declared Ware’s name in New Delhi on Sunday but kept the suspense going for other Pune district seats like Maval, Baramati and Shirur.
Ware piped the likes of former bureaucrat Arun Bhatia and realotor D S Kulkarni.

Though not an AAP member, Bhatia was trying hard to get the party’s nomination. After being denied nomination, Bhatia wasted no time in
slamming the AAP leadership which, he said, did not believe in supporting honest candidates. “I am disappointed and surprised AAP did not pick me. I have nothing against Ware, but on merits I deserved to be nominated,” said Bhatia while stressing that there was “no difference between Congress, NCP, BJP and the AAP. “They have nothing to do with honest and truthful candidates.

Bhatia said a letter that he wrote to Arvind Kejriwal against Prashant Bhushan could be the key reason why AAP cold-shouldered him. “After applying for AAP ticket, I had written a letter to Kejriwal urging him to remove Prashant Bhushan from any post that he holds in the party. This is because there have been charges regarding Noida plots against Bhushan who has never clarified on the controversy,” he said.

Stating that he would now contest as Independent, Bhatia said his fight would be against BJP as Congress has lost fizz. “Besides, I will highlight the double standards practiced by AAP leadership,” said Bhatia who had twice unsuccessfully contested from Pune seat. In 2004, Bhatia had secured 70,000 votes and in 2009, he managed 30,000 votes. It was in 2004 that Bhatia had created ripples when he decided to enter the political terrain.

Realtor D S Kulkarni, who was also hoping for AAP nod, too debunked the party.   He said that there was a distinct lack of transparency in the
party while it went about giving tickets. “We were asked to apply online and we did, but post that we did not understand how the tickets were
given,” he said. Stating that the process smelt of the “high command culture” and it was not expected of AAP, Kulkarni said he would not contest the election this time.

Meanwhile, Ware said their campaign had started last year itself. “We have been taking to the streets on issues of corruption and misgoverance and we will continue to do so to reach out to the people,” he said.

Other than highlighting the issues of public interest, Ware said his party would raise issues related to inflation, lack of social security, old age
pension and other matter before the voters. “There is complete dearth of public infrastructure in Pune  and we will offer change through our party.

Traffic jam, lack of infrastructure are plaguing the city and we will ask the voters to give us a chance to address it,” he said.

About possibility of discontentment over his candidature, Ware said the party had a process which was followed to the dot. “May be I am an old worker of the party and thus, I was chosen over others,” he said.


Unlike other activists in Pune who unfailing remaining in the limelight, Subash Ware has rarely been heard off. AAP leaders said he is actually  an old hand in the socialist movement in the state. He has been associated with the Rashtriya Seva Dal, SM Joshi Foundation, Chhatrabharati and other organisations. He had participated and spearheaded agitations for pensioners’ right, social security for unorganised sectors and other movements. Ware was one of the founding members of the AAP and is also part of the national executive committee of the party. APP picked Ware among 40 who had applied online from Pune.

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